Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review: "The New York Four & Five"

The New York Four & Five series by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly
3.5 stars together

I'd been looking forward to the sequel of this NY-based graphic novel for a long time, so when I finally ordered it on Amazon recently, I had an afternoon of fun reading. :) This first book, The New York Four, was part of the Minx line of comics with DC. Minx was started up in 2007 and was geared towards teen/YA girls and unfortunately only lasted about a year. I was really sad to see it go away because I had enjoyed most of the books in the line and thought it was a good thing. If you are into graphic novels or know someone who is (especially a young girl), I highly encourage you to check out some of these titles! My favorites were probably The Plain Janes (and its sequel, Janes in Love) and Good as Lily.

The New York Four is basically a "coming of age" story about a young girl named Riley who is starting her freshman year at NYU. She is incredibly shy and introverted, but has convinced her parents to let her go to the city for school. She has an ulterior motive though...she wants to reconnect with her outcast sister, who was banished from their family several years before for doing something "unthinkably bad". Riley has a serious attachment to her cellphone and is constantly texting and such, to the point of ostracizing herself from her classmates. When her sister calls her out on it, after being repeatedly ignored, Riley realizes that maybe she should step back a little and learn to socialize.

She becomes friends with 3 other girls from class after running into them at a coffee shop and hearing their complaints about not having any money or a place to live off campus. Riley tells them about a program for beta-testers and all they have to do is talk to a psychiatrist a few times a month. These talks are interspersed throughout the 2 books and we get a good look at what is really going on in the girls' lives, not just what they are choosing to show. She also might have an apartment, thanks to her sister's boyfriend. The 4 girls become fast friends, even though they are all very different.

The artwork in these 2 books is really amazing, that was one of my favorite things about them. There are little info-boxes throughout the story about NYC and all the "cool, hip" places to be. Some might find this irritating, it does lean towards being "hipsterish" if you know what I mean, but I didn't think it was awful. The story was decent, but I really think it would have been better as a longer series. We just get the surface of who these girls are and I think there could have been a lot more to them. The first one ends on a huge cliffhanger, so be sure to have the second ready and waiting!

In New York Five, we pick up pretty much where the first ended. There is a new girl that infiltrates the core group in a pretty surprising way, which I am not going to spoil here! :) Things aren't going as well for the girls in this one...we've got boyfriend problems (lots of boyfriends and lots of problems), family issues, school, work, and even a little stalking.

I feel like this is a series that most girls can relate to on some level or another. Who hasn't had the feeling that things are spiraling out of control and there's no way to stop it? Or that you really want to be with this guy and think he's totally awesome and into you, despite all the signs that he so is not and all your friends know it? Or that you are never going to be a "real" grown up, despite being well into your twenties (or thirties, like me lol). I have big issues with this last one, obviously. Do grown ups read Baby-Sitters Club books or play with toys or eat mac & cheese for dinner? Because, I don't think I want to be a grown up if they don't.

No comments:

Post a Comment